Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - When To Call a Doctor
It's important to talk to your
doctor about any symptoms you may have.
Call your doctor if
- Severe fatigue that lasts longer than 2 weeks,
causes you to limit your usual activities, and does not improve with
- Sleep problems that last for more
than 1 to 2 months. These problems may include being unable to fall asleep or stay asleep,
tossing and turning, and waking up feeling tired or not rested.
- Swelling in the glands in your neck or armpits
(without other signs of infection) that lasts for at least 2 weeks.
- Severe fatigue along with frequent urination (especially at
night), extreme thirst, weight loss, or blurred vision. Fatigue that occurs
with some or all of these may be a symptom of undiagnosed
- Headache that lasts longer than 2 weeks.
Watchful waiting refers to a period of time in which you are being
watched by your doctor but are not getting treatment. A month or two of paying close attention to your
sleep habits, getting regular moderate exercise, trying to control stress, and
eating a balanced diet will take care of most cases of fatigue not caused by
CFS or another medical problem. But if your fatigue has not improved after
1 to 2 months of self-care, or if fatigue won't go away and limits your usual
activities, call your doctor.
If you have been diagnosed with CFS,
pay attention to any new symptoms and report them to your
doctor. Although CFS can cause a variety of symptoms, new symptoms could be
caused by another illness or medical condition that may need to be evaluated
Who to see
The following health professionals can evaluate
fatigue and other symptoms:
There are doctors who specialize in the treatment of CFS.
Get a recommendation from your family doctor or a local CFS support group
before you make an appointment with a specialist. It is always wise to start with
your family doctor. You may also be referred to a physiatrist, psychologist, or
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.